Special-teams touchdown helps break the primtime curse for the Bills
McKelvin’s touchdown – the team’s only – makes it three consecutive “primetime,” nationally televised games in Orchard Park in which the Bills have found the end zone via special teams.
“I think we put up all the points in this game,” said McKelvin, whose touchdown was the first punt return for a score against Miami since Butch Byrd’s in 1966. “They can get you beat and they can win you games. That is a very important part, special teams.”
“It happened to end up being the only touchdown of the night and I was very grateful to special teams,” added McKelvin, who – coupled with an 88-yarder in Week Two – became the first Bills player with two punt-return touchdowns in a season.
The previous two primetime games at Ralph Wilson Stadium – one of which, McKelvin scored in – didn’t end as well, for the Bills.
Six minutes into the third quarter during an Oct. 8, 2007 meeting with the Dallas Cowboys, Terrence McGee returned a kickoff 103 yards. The contest, which at the time was the Bills’ first home Monday Night Football appearance in 13 years, went in favor of the Cowboys, 25-24. The following season, McKelvin’s 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown brought the Bills within three points of the visiting Cleveland Browns. The Bills lost, again on Monday Night Football, 29-27.
Thursday was only the Bills’ fourth primetime game at Ralph Wilson Stadium since Sept. 26, 1994, which had been the last time the team came out on top in such an occurrence – a 27-20 victory over the Denver Broncos. It also marked the Bills’ first primetime win – regardless of venue – since Oct. 18, 2001, a 13-10 squeaker in Jacksonville.
“All of the pro football world is watching this game,” said Bills head coach Chan Gailey. “They watch this game. There are three primetime games a week, and this is one of them. For them to do that and play the way they played tonight. …that is something we can build on. We need to be able to build on that.”